Head’s Blog 22nd March 2019 Friday 22nd March 2019

This week in chapel 3D led the service about Maundy Thursday. The word Maundy itself comes from the Latin (hurrah!) mandatum – “that which is ordered” or commanded and specifically on this day it refers to the commandment that Jesus gave his disciples to love one another.

That love, on this particular day, found its expression in the humblest of tasks that he performed for his friends, washing their feet.

On Tuesday therefore, it was good that I could play my part in the story and wash the feet of some of the children acting as disciples around the table for the last supper.

Any such act by a leader has more of an impact perhaps because there is a surprise at the role being taken on.

In agreeing to wash their feet, whether symbolically or as on Tuesday in reality, what I’m saying to the children is that I respect them and I want the best for them and I will do anything for them and of course I do in fact believe that leadership is intrinsically bound up with service.

In the traditions of British society and culture we value all the services that support the structures of our country. We teach children to respect healthcare professionals, those who offer to fight for all countries or keep it safe. We ask children to show their respect in the ways that they behave and in the effort that they put into what they do each day at school. And of course it works both ways. My colleagues in leading the pupils’ education also understand the meaning of service and I think it is a hallmark of a great school when this is a constant feature amongst all those working within it.

This week I have been treated to a huge variety of reasons to be excited about serving this particular community and I’m privileged to have seen some extraordinary projects, games, films and this morning my challenge group listened to a very moving and powerfully written story about a girl’s quest to save polar bears threatened by global warming.

What speaks volumes in all of these fascinating and varied offerings is the huge satisfaction and enjoyment being experienced by the children and the richness of learning and sharing learning in the way that we have developed. Thank you to those parents who have taken the time to write to express their own joy at seeing this powerful development in our homework policy and to all the children whose endless creativity is really something that makes us proud.

As things hot up towards next week’s production of “Emil and the Detectives” I commend to you the many, many extraordinary things that have been achieved so far this term and I’m excited at what I will see and enjoy when I attend the show next week.

Please remember next week, as there are no clubs, that dismissal from Prep School is from three different doors depending on year groups.

What ever you’re doing this weekend enjoy your last weekend of this school term.

Jill Aisher

Latest News

Prep pupils treated classmates and music teachers to a variety of musical performances this week in their half termly concert.

Performed in three instalments within their bubbles, the musicians showcased a variety of pieces, varying in both genre and instrument.

And although parents were unable to attend the concerts due to Covid-19 restrictions, the pupils’ families received a recording of the event.

Gordon Baird, Director of Music, said “We were delighted by how these first concerts of the academic year went despite the absence of the children’s parents. It was a lovely intimate experience for the children to play or sing to their friends and we heard some confident, accomplished performances.

Mr Baird added: “For some, it was their first time playing in a concert in the Prep school and we look forward to organising many more opportunities for them to perform throughout the year.”

A montage of the three music concerts can be found on the St Michael’s YouTube page at https://youtu.be/Bj_Wx4P9heg.

Spooky spiders and plump pumpkins sparked Halloween fun at St Michael’s this week.

Supported by the school’s Parents and Friends association, pupils enjoyed two games which offered great prizes to winners.

Coordinator of the Halloween competitions and P & F committee member, Kelly Downey said: “Given the restrictions currently in place, the P&F are focusing on strengthening the school community for parents and children this year.

“The competitions are a simple way for the children to have some fun in the week before half term, while raising some funds for the P&F.”

Children in Pre-Prep were tasked with guessing the number of spooky spiders in the jar, while Prep children were asked to guess the weight of a pumpkin. Pupils made a donations to the P & F in exchange for each guess they made.

And the winners of the games, Herbie W (Pre-Prep) A Ward, M Little, L Lutzow and H Owen (Prep), were awarded Halloween hampers which will help them celebrate this year’s festival in spooktacular style.

Kelly added: “The funds raised for the P&F will go towards funding activities and facilities for the children to enrich their time at the school.”

For more information about St Michael’s P & F association visit stmichaels.kent.sch.uk/parents-friends

 

Strawberries and sunflowers were just some of the items celebrated in last week’s harvest assemblies.

 

The annual Pre-Prep event, performed as three instalments this year, saw Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 pupils sing, dance and give prayer for the harvest while learning about the festival from their music teacher, Mrs Raveyeh.

 

 

Reflecting on the success of the events, Louise Raveyeh said: “I am quite moved by the children’s enthusiastic singing in our harvest celebration.

 

“It was a wonderful opportunity for the children to realise that there is joy in giving and sharing what we have and happiness for those who gratefully receive it.

 

“Their singing and eagerness to share with others was heartwarming.”

 

 

During the assemblies pupils sung songs about harvest time, nature and the variety of fruit and vegetables grown in this country.

 

Louise said: “I wanted the children to be thankful for what they have by realising what an amazing rainbow variety of food we have, created with individual characteristics just like them.

 

“I wanted them to realise the sense of joy that there is in sharing what we have.

 

“The songs reflect our celebration of what we have and realisation of the process of planting, harvesting and sharing.”

 

 

And it wasn’t just songs that helped the children express their thanks. Helped by their generous parents, Pre-Prep donated hundreds of food items and household essentials to the Swanley branch of Trussell Trust food bank.

 

 

Head of Pre-Prep at St Michael’s, Zerrin Leech, said: “We had tables, cupboards and bags festooned with food last week as our families gave very kind donations of food and other items.

 

“A huge thank you must go to the pupils’ parents for their wonderful generosity once again this year which will be gratefully received by the Trussell Trust.

 

“Thank you also to Mrs Ravayeh for leading our three harvest assemblies. They have been lovely with lots of new songs as well as my all-time favourite, Cauliflowers Fluffy.”

 

 

 

 

Sunsets and sizzling sausages set the tone for the new term last Friday as Year 7 pupils celebrated the start of their senior education journey.

The annual event, traditionally held as a Camp Out, was delivered as a fun-filled barbecue night which the children enjoyed with teachers including St Michael’s Acting Head, Mrs Bridges.

Throughout the evening pupils tucked into dinner cooked by Deputy Head Mr Wiseman, and toasted marshmallows on an open fire.

And to make use of their new term energy, games and group bonding activites were carried out, followed by a walk up the school’s famous Warren where the sunset was relished in all of its glory.

Reflecting on the sucess of the event, Head of Year 7 and 8, Mrs Shield, said: “Unfortunately, we were unable to camp this year, but that did not dampen anybody’s spirits.

“One of the highlights of the evening was our twilight walk to the top of the Warren where we marvelled at the beautiful site that our school occupies.

“We viewed the bats swirling the skies in the dusk of late summer and ended the evening with a well-deserved hot chocolate – not forgetting the squirty cream and yet more marshmallows.

“Life-long friendships were made and re-established after the long summer break.”

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